This is a partial transcript from "Your World with Neil Cavuto," August 18, 2005, that was edited for clarity.
BRENDA BUTTNER, GUEST HOST: Sick of diets? Giving up on exercise? Well, listen up. What would you think of a new device that makes you feel full, even if you haven’t eaten all that much? Well, meet the man behind the company ready to put that on the market, he’s Arthur Collins (search), the chairman and CEO of Medtronic (MDT).
Thanks so much for joining us.
ARTHUR COLLINS, CHMN. & CEO, MEDTRONIC: It’s good to be with you, Brenda.
BUTTNER: So this is a device that can actually help obese people feel full and lose weight?
COLLINS: It is. It is similar to a pacemaker and it’s really for the severely obese or morbidly obese. So not for everyone. They have body mass indexes and if you have a body mass index that is greater than 35, than.
BUTTNER: If you just want to shed a few pounds, this is not for you?
COLLINS: No, no. But in the United States, in that category of severely obese, with a body mass over 35, there are 25 million Americans. And if you go down just 5 points to a body mass index of 30 or greater, there’s about 65 million.
BUTTNER: So there’s a big market. In fact, this device is in Europe.
COLLINS: It has been in Europe and it has recently been approved for sale in Canada.
BUTTNER: And so through an operation, it is placed within your stomach? Is that what happens?
COLLINS: Yes. What happens is there’s a small incision that’s made under the rib cage and then there are two electrodes, or they are called leads, that like a pacemaker, instead of going to the heart, go to the wall of the stomach. And then a very low level electrical current is sent in and it tricks the mind to think you’re full.
BUTTNER: Hmm, now in Europe, people have lost a lot of weight on this?
COLLINS: Yes. In fact we’re going through a clinical trial in the United States that should be concluded by the end of this year. But we’re looking for a weight loss at a minimum of 20 percent. And for individuals that weigh that amount, that’s a significant amount of loss.
BUTTNER: In what time period are they losing that?
COLLINS: Well, it varies by individuals. Sometimes the loss takes place in a month, sometimes it takes six months, but the key is once you lose, that you continue to keep the weight off. In the United States, for example, there are about 160,000 gastric bypass or lapband procedures each year, that’s growing about 30 percent. But the difference with this product is it’s completely reversible, if a better therapy comes up, and it leaves the individual’s digestive tract intact with fewer side effects, we believe.
BUTTNER: Now how much in Europe -- I know you haven’t priced it yet here -- but how much in Europe does this procedure cost?
COLLINS: The procedures range from somewhere in the neighborhood of $15,000 to $20,000. And it hasn’t been, you’re correct, priced in the United States.
BUTTNER: All right. Well, we’ll be looking for that. Thanks so much. The CEO of Medtronic.
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